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Worm Infestation

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#21 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 01:17 PM

You will find some saying that you never need to worm and if you only have one or two torts in a large garden, then that would work, given that the sun, rain and insects etc remove an awful lot of waste. If you only have a small enclosure for your torts, or several loose in the garden, then the ground is going to get parasite overload, the same as fields where horses, cattle etc are kept. In the wild, they will be constantly moving on and not covering the same ground so often as captive ones and old faeces will be removed by rodents, birds etc. Indoors if your tortoise is free of worms when you get it and poop is removed several times a day, then it's obviously not going to build up so severely, but who keeps tortoises indoors in this lovely weather :) Remember too that tortoises do eat poop, so could easily be reinfesting themselves quite quickly given the chance. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, recommend that annual worming, mid summer is the way to go to keep numbers down. I took part in a study for them years ago using my own tortoises for research into endoparasitic infestation in captive Mediterranean tortoises. The results were surprisingly high, considering they had such a large area to roam. They were deliberately not wormed one year and results were taken the following spring. I now worm my torts annually in June/July and have not found anything alarming since ;) 

#22 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 03:55 PM

I've never noticed any effect whatsoever from worming my tortoises and having grandchildren around, consider it a necessary evil, just the same as with dogs. I would expect possible side effects if it was done during the cooler seasons, due to slower metabolism or if giving one high dose rather than several smaller doses  ;)  I would never advise to do it prior to hibernation for this reason, much better to keep the tortoise out of hibernation until the problem is sorted. The most well known organisations such as TT, BCG, BATK and all the exotics vets I know, suggest worming as part of responsible animal husbandry. I would say if you do not have children or people who could be immunosuppressed at home then it is up to you, but otherwise, do remember that tortoise parasites are for the most part zoonotic or transmissible to humans.

#23 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 07:28 PM

I really do not intend to tell others what to do Ozric, just stating the obvious and what most professionals would suggest. As you say it is up the individual, but many do not realise that children can contract them, so I thought it was worth mentioning. With compromised people in my family, I really DO have to make that priority, was just stating that, not dictating. But ............it's really not true that if you can't see them they are not there - one of a friends rehomers died while in quarantine and the post mortem shoed nothing more than a heavy worm burden high in the gut - she saw nothing. Most vets will tell you this, but as you say, it's the choice of the individual - just thought it was important to state the facts for those who do not know ;)

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